Finding the NMC Competence Test Centre

Travelling to the Northumbria NMC Competence Test Centre

Northumbria’s NMC Test of Competence Centre is located at our Coach Lane Campus, approximately three miles from Newcastle city centre.

Newcastle upon Tyne is well placed to provide convenient regional, national and international access – located in the north east of England, the city is easily accessible given the fantastic travel links – close proximity to the A1 for drivers, an international airport with links to all corners of the UK, a train station on the East Coast mainline and even an international ferry terminal!!

This page provides advice on the different travel options open to you and details of the hotels that we recommend and have engaged with your comfort and safety in mind, as well as securing preferred rates for OSCE candidates.

Please ensure that you have secured an exam date prior to making any travel arrangements to avoid disappointment. We cannot guarantee a preferred date but will be able to give options. 

A quick travel summary is available here

Getting to Newcastle upon Tyne

Road travel, by coach or car, is particularly easy as Newcastle stands on the premier north-south route in the UK.

Newcastle Map

  • The University address for our Coach Lane Campus is Northumbria University, Coach Lane Campus, Benton, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE7 7XA.  Please note that SATNAV devices using the above postcode will direct travellers to a next door residential estate.
  • The NMC Competence Test Centre is based on the West side of our Coach Lane campus.  A large, reasonably priced, pay and display car park is situated on the East side of the campus, a short (two minute) walk to the Centre.  Clear signage will guide you from the car park to the Centre.

Frequent rail services operate from many parts of the UK. 

You will arrive via train to Newcastle Central Train Station. The station has all major train line companies going through it, including TransPennine Express, Scotrail, Northern Rail, LNER and Cross Country.

A taxi rank can be found right outside Newcastle Central Station.  You should ask the driver to take you to Northumbria University, Coach Lane West Campus. The fare will be in the region of £10.

Alternatively, you may wish to use the Stagecoach Number 1 bus service.  The bus calls at the stop opposite the station, the journey will take around 30 minutes and the service terminates at Coach Lane Campus (that should be showing as the destination of the bus).

Approximate travelling times by rail to Newcastle upon Tyne are: 

Birmingham4 hours
Edinburgh2 hours
Glasgow3 hours
London3 hours
Manchester3 hours
Sheffield2 hours
Leeds1.5 hours

Rail Enquiries
Tel: +44 (0)8457 484 950

The closest airport to the Competence Test Centre is Newcastle International Airport, where flights from a range of providers offer regular affordable flights to Newcastle. 

You can also access the Competence Test Centre using a taxi directly from the airport. The airport has a designated taxi rank that is located just outside of arrivals at the airport. It will take approximately 20 minutes by taxi at a cost of around £20.

Newcastle International Airport
Tel: +44 (0)871 882 1122

National Express operates good services to Newcastle upon Tyne from all parts of the UK.

Approximate travelling times are:

Birmingham5 hours
Edinburgh3 hours
Glasgow4 hours
London6 hours
Manchester4 hours
Sheffield3 hours

There is a taxi rank close to the National Express coach station.  Please ask the driver to take you Northumbria University Coach Lane West Campus.

National Express
Tel: +44 (0)871 781 8178

Car ferry and passenger services operate to Tyneside from Holland.

The North Shields International Ferry Terminal at Royal Quays ( Tyne Commission Quay) is seven miles east of Newcastle. Bus services run from the terminal building to the city centre.

DFDS Seaways

Coach Lane Campus has ample car parking on a pay and display basis on the East side of the campus.  You are advised to download the campus map below in order to identify the location of the car park in relation to the Competence Test Centre (although comprehensive signage on-site will guide you).

Newcastle is a very compact city so getting around is easy! It has one of the best integrated transport systems in the country, centred upon the Metro system, and the extensive bus networks.

Excellent bus and Metro services run between the City Centre and our Coach Lane campus.  Candidates wishing to travel by bus from Newcastle Central rain station should board the Number 1 Stagecoach service ‘Coach Lane Campus’.  This service terminates at Coach Lane Campus

For further information on transport options in Newcastle upon Tyne please visit the nexus website

Upon arrival at Coach Lane, candidates should head to the main reception, denoted as location 10 on the Campus map


Candidates are responsible for arranging their own accommodation. For your convenience, we have engaged with a number of local hotels with your comfort and safety in mind, as well as securing preferred rates for OSCE candidates.

For those arriving in Newcastle upon Tyne by rail, we recommend:

Hampton by Hilton Hotel (directly opposite Newcastle Central Train Station) – Baron House Neville Street, Newcastle NE1 5EN using this LINK. Bookings made though this link include a special discount agreed with the hotel.  All rates are inclusive of VAT, a full hot and cold breakfast and wifi. If you would prefer to email the hotel direct, please use the following address:

Hotel Indigo (2 minutes from Newcastle Central Train Station) The team at the Hotel Indigo Newcastle look forward to welcoming your future guests to the hotel. Bookings made using the link receive a special discounted rate agreed with the hotel. Either use this link, telephone reservations (24hr) on 0191 300 9222  or email the team ( 

Other convenient hotels to fit all budget ranges near Newcastle Central Station include:

  • Maldren Hotel, Newcastle
  • Jurys Inn, Newcastle
  • Motel One, Newcastle

For those arriving in Newcastle upon Tyne by air, we recommend:

Double Tree by Hilton Hotel (directly opposite Newcastle Airport main terminal) – Woolsington, Newcastle NE13 8BZ using this LINK to book discounted room rates.

For those arriving in Newcastle upon Tyne by car, we recommend:

Holiday Inn, Jesmond (approx 1.5 miles from Coach Lane Campus) Jesmond Road, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE2 1PR – using this LINK

Bookings made though this link include a special discount agreed with the hotel

Access to Coach Lane Campus

Those candidates arriving in to Newcastle Central Train Station will need to take a short taxi ride to Northumbria University’s Coach Lane Campus. 

Alternatively, the Stagecoach Number 1 bus service ‘Coach Lane Campus’ picks up outside the station with a journey time of around 30 minutes.  Coach Lane Campus is the final stop on this service.

Candidates arriving in to Newcastle Airport are advised to travel to the Competence Test Centre at Coach Lane Campus by taxi.

Some useful taxi numbers in Newcastle upon Tyne are:

  • Noda cars – 0191 222 1888
  • Blue Line taxis – 0191 262 6666
  • LA taxis – 0191 287 7777

Things to do in the City

If you’re staying in Newcastle overnight for your OSCE, there are many things to discover on your visit.

Newcastle Upon Tyne has an electric atmosphere with its city vibes and an exciting quayside where a market takes place every Sunday selling delicious food and handcrafted goods.

Take a moment to visit an impressive Museum, admire the modern architecture of The Glasshouse, view Newcastle United Football Club’s St James’ Park stadium, take a tour of the thrilling Victoria Tunnel or the historic Newcastle Castle.

If you’re wanting to see the beautiful nature of Newcastle, you could take a walk in Jesmond Dene Park or catch the Metro to Tynemouth Beach for a coastal walk and an ice cream – perfect on a sunny day.

Toon Tour, the Hop on Hop off open-top city tour bus which is a fantastic way to get around the city. Toon Tour runs daily from the 25th May 2024 until 1st September 2024 and the service will run every 30 minutes from around 10am until 5pm. The tickets also allow unlimited travel on all Go North East buses on the same day.

Newcastle has a large range of unique bars and restaurants so you will have no issue finding the perfect hot-spot to celebrate your visit to the North East. If you’re unsure which cuisine to try whether it’s Thai, Indian, British or Tapas, you will find a range of choice within metres of the Grey’s Monument